NEW YORK — 50 Cent has had much better days than last Thursday, the day he learned that the video, not just the song, of his Robin Thicke collaboration "Follow My Lead" had leaked onto the Internet, two to three months ahead of schedule.
The MC confirmed to MTV News that reports about him going on a rampage in the G-Unit offices — tearing a plasma TV from the wall and tossing a cell phone through a window — were true (see "50 Cent Erupts After Song, Video With Robin Thicke Leak: Source").
According to 50, who told New York radio station Hot 97 in a recent interview that Interscope was behind the radio leak of his track with Justin Timberlake, "Ayo Technology" — he also holds the label responsible for the "Follow My Lead" video leak — his recording home's strategies have been making the rapper feel like the company is "all over the place" in trying to set up his Curtis album, which comes out on September 11 (see "Kanye West And 50 Cent Set For Epic Battle: Both Releasing Albums On September 11").
50 said he found out about the "Follow My Lead" leak by word of mouth, like virtually everyone else.
"I woke up, I'm having a regular day, I'm actually going to work," Fif explained Monday on the set of another video, one he's doing with Perry Farrell and Kelly Rowland for ESPN (see "50 Cent, Kelly Rowland And — Huh? — Perry Farrell Team Up For ESPN Theme"). "I come from Connecticut to New York City. I get here around 11 o'clock. I released a mixtape record [the night before called 'We On Some Sh--']. It's on some aggressive content — it's me, Tony Yayo and Lloyd Banks, it's something new that I created for the street.
"Everything is going good," he continued. "I'm taking meetings, doing different things that I had planned on the schedule. And I get phone call and someone is telling me they seen the Robin Thicke video! It was a friend of mine, but he's from a different state. Soon as [bootleggers] see something like that, they take the audio off the video, because they know it's not supposed to be out, [and leak the audio track online]. Then I start to get the phone calls, 'cause across the country the mix-show DJs start getting it. This record isn't even supposed to be out!"
"When is a video leaked?" 50 asked rhetorically. "Like, I never even heard of that before! I've heard of a song leaking out — and then you can send cease-and-desist letters to the radio stations and try to calm it down, 'cause 'Ayo Technology' leaked out. So it makes me feel like Interscope is just all over the place."
50 revealed he's been bothered by a number of things stemming from the incident, including, he said, the sense that he's lost a hit record due to the leak of "Follow My Lead." He said he's also upset that his time was wasted filming a video that's not going to be set up properly, and that his label failed to properly protect such a high-priority video from an artist of his caliber.
"What bothers me is nothing is going according to the actual plan," he said.
Fif said Interscope's solution to the multiple problems has been to give him more money: He said his own staff has been handling the bulk of promoting "I Get Money" and other projects. "So the success of this project won't be a reflection of the work at Interscope at this point," he said.
He also said he won't stop making solo albums even if Kanye West, whose album Graduation is due the same day as Curtis, outsells his LP, as had been reported (see "50 Cent, Kanye Lead Fall Album Rush — Mariah, Chris Brown, Lupe Fiasco, Alicia Keys Follow"). While he called West a talented producer, he also said the Chicago MC is a "worker bee" while he's a "boss." 50 emphasized the importance of album sales, saying that West selling more would mean that "he did a better job than me on his album."
"Look at how you're talking to me, like Kanye West is my equal right now," 50 said, launching into a rather imprecise comparison. "That's like me putting myself against Michael Jackson's [album-release] date and then acting like, 'Woah, it's a battle between 50 Cent and Michael Jackson!', when Thriller sold 30 million records and 50 Cent's biggest album sold 12 [million], you feel what I'm saying?
"Don't get lost in the hype," he continued. "I got the right records, so we're gonna sit here and I'll see you next time. Maybe next time they can send me off to the pastures. But right now, I'm gonna stick around and sell this record — and I will be #1 on September 11."
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